Podcast - This Is Only a Test

Episode 409 – Farewell Flash – 7/27/17

Norm’s back from SDCC! He’s joined by Kishore and special guest Annalee Newitz for a mega deep dive into their Comic-Con experiences, all the movies and TV trailers, behind the scenes of that crazy jetpack video, the end of Adobe Flash and MS Paint, and the science study that may end football.

Comments (18)

18 thoughts on “Episode 409 – Farewell Flash – 7/27/17

  1. I was thinking the exact same thing with the Bright trailer, the first 3/2rds looked just like a remake of Alien Nation, which is no bad thing 🙂

  2. Every now and then, I get a jpeg that won’t open in Photoshop so I open it in Paint and re-save it, then it works. That’s my only use-case for Paint!

    I am concerned about how https://twitter.com/getbentsaggy (Chris, Simpsons artist) will produce his amazing artwork now though!

  3. Grrr. Gotta say something about military drones. It’s not fair to call them evil because we can’t ALWAYS tell friend from foe. Think of where we’ve come from. Nuking Hiroshima, firebombing Tokyo, carpet bombing Berlin, V1-2 attacks on London. I think we’ve invested a LOT in the ability to fight bad guys without harming good guys, even when the bad guys are hiding behind the good guys. I say hats off to the folks who make and operate the drones.They understand the grim job that they’re tasked with. (except for that whistle blower chick apparently. She had NO IDEA that drones were dangerous. Boo hoo. Started blowing whistles and getting lots of attention AFTER her fun career and paycheck were no longer on the line. No respect for that.)

  4. I think the bike that appears in the trailer is AKIRA’s (and thus, Kaneda’s) bike, and not the bike from Tron

  5. The fenimist Ferangi story was told over the course of the second half of DS9. The grand Nagus starts going out with Quarks mother and she puts all these radical ideas in his head. The grand Nagus eventually gives equal rights to females. And at the very end Rom becomes the next grand Nagus.

    Honestly, did you people never rewatch Star Trek?

  6. i was going to point that out as well. 🙂 just as TNG allowed the klingons to have their stereotype modified by individual character, DS9 did so with the ferengi. see quark/rom/their mother/their brush-ups with ‘serious’ ferengi/etc.

    re harmful activities: the elephant in the room is martial arts. on one hand, there’s tons of regulation that skews head trauma more towards repeated padded or singular boom-lights-out instances, but that doesn’t negate that the very point is to whack the other guy’s noggin more than he does yours.

    and a small note (heh) on norm’s assertion that ms didn’t add features to notepad: that’s not a shortcoming of notepad, that’s a property of the format. notepad is a text editor. plain text as a format has no bold/italic/font size/and so on, that’s for rich text and beyond – i.e. word processor territory.

  7. Dystopian futures? How about the Dystopian Present? Aldous Huxley nailed it better than anyone else in “A Brave New World.” Seriously – in a world of Amazon Prime 1-hour shipping, Virtual Reality, and sex-bot manufacturing, it’s truly uncanny how well he pegged us. And if you want a look at the Dystopian Not-Very-Far-In-The-Past – Solzhenitsyn’s Gulag Archipelago is a MUST read – only, it’s not made up nonsense but historical reality. Very, very unnerving historical reality. And that’s actually a history I could see us repeating.

  8. I think Elon Musk’s purpuse is to educate, make people think, and, above all: make the politicians think and educate themselves in the subject.

    Just like what he says about Mars: he insists to make it a second Earth, but just to create dialog and enthusiam for the space program. I don’t actually think he believes we can make Mars Earth II

  9. Incidentally, I constantly use MS Paint. If I want to specifically color match the background color in PowerPoint or Word to an image I inserted, I paste it in MS Paint first so I can “eye-dropper” the color and get the specific RGB coordinates. Is there an easier way to do this?

  10. On the military drone discussion – I likely don’t disagree with the point that’s trying to be made, but I’m having a hard time agreeing with the way it’s being made. Specifcially, taking the word of a low-ranking “whistleblower” who served in the military and was then shocked to discover that the military is in the business of “killing people” – how am I suppose to take that? How is her assessment of Rules of Engagement and Target Identification, let alone the necessary strategic elements necessary in combat theaters better than the various strategists, generals, and troop leaders above her in the chain of command. I mean, if she didn’t realize that the military is about killing people, why should I trust her judgment on what necessarily constitutes an unnecessary and overly threatening environment?

    Don’t get me wrong – I’m not a supporter of any of our current foreign entanglements, but I also have respect for the soldiers who have gone out there and lost comrades and body parts to what is a truly brutal combat arena (read some first person accounts if you have any doubts) – so I also value the use of drones to support our troops whenever possible. Exactly what role and to what extent they should do the supporting – that’s debateable.

    And, Kishore – good guy and bad guy is not an artifice. It’s a reality. Mistakes in the identification of one or the other occur, but that doesn’t negate the validity of that construct. Google “Wichita Horror” and tell me those guys weren’t bad guys. Read up about H.H. Holmes. Or read about how ISIS folks treat their women and daughters, or what they do to captured enemies. I’m not saying that the USA is always the good guy in every situation (we’re definitely not), but even when we are the “bad guy” in a particular scenario, that just means we’re the “bad guy” and not that good guys and bad guys don’t exist.

  11. I think Elon Musk is all about 2 things:

    1- Elon Musk

    2- Making money.

    I also think Zuckerberg is all about 2 things. I bet everyone can guess what they are.

  12. Norm! You failed to mention the perfectly valid reason for John’s wookie being named Lumpy! If John was in fact going as Chewbacca’s son, the highly cheesy yet exceedingly entertaining network television extravaganza, “A Star Wars Christmas Special,” featured none other than Lumpy himself! This is just the type of nerd esoterica I count on you to bring to light for the betterment of all:) (By the way, is that special considered canon, I wonder?….) Top shelf show as always, this is the Golden Age of Tested, in my humble opinion!!

  13. If you’re interested in the debate over AI, AI Safety and the open letter signed by Elon Musk, Stephen Hawking et al. you should really watch Rob Miles videos on the Computerphile YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/user/Computerphile) and on his own personal channel, especially this one about the letter https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1wAgBaJgEsg.

    He goes through the different problems with AI raised in the letter from both a technical and theoretical standpoint in a really interesting way, check it out.

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